Sunnyside's Gladiator build begins...

sunnysideup

Caught the Bug
Been using the back for camping...just throwing a tarp over the back and sleeping on memory foam inside. It's worked! So much so that I'm working on a topper/truck tent option for the back... I also got all of the molle pouches in and have them secured to the rack my son made now, works great for keeping things secure. I also made a fishing pole place on the inside roof as it comes along on many trips.
 

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sunnysideup

Caught the Bug
Well I got another step done... When I bought my tires only 4 were available. Now those same tires are out of stock everywhere... so I needed a spare. I had an old rim I got cheap...but it had never been used... 5x5 and it should work for a spare. But I had to find a similar tire size wise that also will be able to mount in the stock location... After several people saying what fits and what doesn't in 37's... I found one that they said did. So I ordered it... but its tight! 20psi but very similar height and width to the Tires I have. So I now have a full size spare! On my last trip I was relying on someone else that had a similar sized spare. It's A copper discover sst 37x12.5x17, and it fits... I did not have to modify the heat shield or any thing. But the sway bar is close! I run Nitto Ridge Grapplers in that same size. PS the orange is a flashlight in the last pic...
 

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sunnysideup

Caught the Bug
Added a cheap tent... it has no poles so you are on your own to get this to fit anything... I had a 35 year old tent that was going to the dump, so I modified three poles to create support for the tent. But we had been using a tarp...so this fits nice and weighs about 8lbs altogether. It is screen and comes with a rainfly. It is about 120 dollars shipped... tag says it all, made in China. I think most cheap tents are now...

Has not been tested yet, except for it fits and gives you room to stand up and get dressed. and sleep on memory foam with the tailgate down.

It also leaves our rack open for a canoe or kayak ... which is of interest to us right now. And its about 3 grand cheaper than the current crop of RTT's lol. It will probably get used next summer. We don't camp in tents in the winter in Montana (I have but my wife won't).
 

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sunnysideup

Caught the Bug
Couple of other parts added... I reinforced the pinch seam with a 3/16 length of spring steel that runs down the whole pinch seam. Since my current steps mount to the body mounts underneath and the pinch seam... I went the whole length in one piece steel... this sandwhiches the pinch seam in steel. In hope to give it more strength in case of an impact with a large rock. It was primed, painted and rubberized on the back where it touches the paint.

I also used a Clayton steering stabilizer relocation bracket to move the fox2.0 up out of harms way It was the lowest point on the front.

I finally got the other axle shaft from RCV so the front axle is now complete! It was half RCV half stock while I waited for parts... its all set up, and it has the bronze bushing in the intermediate shaft now instead of the stock plastic.

I also mounted my artec FAD skid plate... it was steel instead of alum. So I painted it!

Now I really am out of parts to put on! Got another couple things on the topper...
 

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sunnysideup

Caught the Bug
I love the coverage of the LOD bed sliders... but the look of them did not match my current bumper. I also wanted another step...I have one in the rear bumper... and now I have one in slider... I think the lines match my bumper better. I just continued the lines of the wedge thing they created and went to the base. about a 4 inch by 2 inch piece is missing now from the center... but the was slotted out in the design to let water come out from behind the metal...so little is lost. I gained a step on each side!
 

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sunnysideup

Caught the Bug
Just an easy update... I was looking for the transfer case vent... I found it on the front side...about even with the rear driveshaft output. by reaching over from the back you will find about a 3 inch kinked hose and cap. this is the vent... so it is pretty low in the event you are in deeper water then you wish to be. I bought 4 feet of hose the same size... and a joint that fit into the stock hose. I opened the hood ran the hose down over the transmission. I zip tied the factory vent near the battery and ran the hose down to the transfer case... I was able from the passenger side -to reach up and place two more zip ties to keep the hose on top of the tranny. At the transfer case I was able to reach up from behind and run the hose over the factory nipple where the 3 inch was attached. No pics... but an easy way to get your vent up under the hood where everything else is vented!
 
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sunnysideup

Caught the Bug
Here is another part that I have waited to install... drilling 4 holes through the factory track bar mount at odd angles... made me decide to put it off. It takes about 15 min a hole with my tools, but the end result is that the rear track bar is level with the axle and the ground now. This mount is made by Rock Krawler... so is the rear track bar that I run, so that was a perfect fit. I have 3.5 inches lift or so... and every little correction can help maintain a stock like feel on the highway. This was a very stout part... I still have another part too... an ARTEC truss for the rear... but I've not been really ambitious about that job either. Probably will get it on this winter.
 

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